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tv   [untitled]    March 2, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PST

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now i will advocate this. but if a story line covers a certain aspect of history that you tell it to the greatest truth you can. you know, you talk about the situation and if you inhabit the characters, hopefully, in the right way you try to feel hathey would feel. >> thank you. >> we started reading your book in my classroom a couple of weeks ago. >> he's lifting the book up. they are disapointed because we haven't gotten to the part you read yet, it's okay the story is not spoiled. i want to thank bobby and alex for coming on a school night. i want to thank you, too. >> you are welcome. >> [laughter]. >> one of the things the book has done is opened their eyes to japan and japanese culture which is new to a lot of them. what are some of the more
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important aspects of japanese culture that you would want us to take away reading this book? we are fixated on figuring out who the samurai is we have ideas and we are trying to deconstruct the attributes of a samurai. in your opinion what would be useful for us to think about or focus on as we finish the book. we are a third of the way through it. >> one of those kind of questions [laughter]. i will tell you about an e mail i got this entire high school on the east coast is reading the samurai's garden. i started to get 30 e mails. they discovered through the website an e mail which would come directly tow me. i started to figure it out when all the questions were the same. they -- it was the questions which they had to write their essay on. one young woman wrote me and
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said, i don't know if i have time to read the book can you tell me who the samurai is and where the garredin is? [laughter]. i thought these kids are going to be okay. you know this is our generation coming up. i wrote her and said, you know, read the book. i think for me, because i think every book is a learning process for me. in terms of my culture because i am the first, i don't know about all that needs to be known of both being chinese and of course being japanese. i get a lot wrong. i cringe when i pronounce a japanese word because i know i'm not say itting correctly. i can get away with it. here i don't know, it's harder to get away with it in the bay area because we are such a melting pot. and so many people who know japanese where i don't.
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what i discovered i think on the whole, for all cultures both cultures and the writing process itself is the more i write about different cultures the more i realize how much alike we are. and if you take anything away take that. take the fact that all humanity is the same. you know the -- culturesar a background for me it makes you who you are. if you are japanese you bow. if you are chinese you don't. there are certain things that are specific to each culture. but if you are writing characters there are specific things that are everybody. and that's more important to me in that sense. you have the culture's background but if you can understand why a person who lives in that culture feels the way they do or does what they do i think that's the most important thing. does that answer your question? >> yeah. >> thank you.
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>> you letting me off? [laughter] do i have another story to tell you? i would if i -- >> you seem very conscious of the writer's process you are aware of how you work. you mentioned you changed from a film major to an english major. can you talk about when you were conscious when you wanted to be a writer. >> as opposed to a film maker? >> yes. >> some writers are not aware of their process as you are and i'm fas nacinated by that. >> when i took my first film class it was so boring. and it had nothing to do about the story that i was watching on
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the screen. and everything to do about how many frames per second or per minute or whatever it was. i thought, this is not at all what i thought it would be. then i moved from you know, to the technical aspect film writing course i took. it felt technical because i felt i had to be aware of the camera angles. literally aware it had to go down longshot or closeup and it was interfering with the sry line. i graduated from san francisco state and it was creative writing within the english department. i was taking a class much like this. writers on writing and a writer came to speak to a group of young writers the first writer who came was a poet. and i was i fell madly in love with language. i think that's why i'm probably conscious with the writing
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process because i began with the foundation of language, which is poetry for me. it made me aware of how to use language. not to over use language. you know things like that that aspects of it. i talk a lot about the writing process for a lot of reasons because i think that if you tell what it really means to be a writer people will think oh , it's not -- i think to a large extent you all think we run with the bulls. you know and you think we are sitting in cafes and i can never write in a cafe because i would watch people too much. how can you sit in a cafe and write a novel? we all have our process. i think the interesting things to talk about is the process how you do it because we all do it differently. i don't run with the bulls or sit in cafes. this is the way i do it.
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there are many ways to do it and you have to find your own way. >> around the web i googled through me to see what it looked like i saw the big bridge and it looked industrialized. >> there really is love. >> i did. a real place and how you pick the location. i have family in japan and my kids are are in a bilingual program in san francisco that's japanese. >> i bet she speaks japanese better than i do. my kids might not me. >> when i had the gun i knew there was a [inaudible] and i started writing down things and i thought in my mind's eye, i think it looks like this. and it would be like that i had a small village in mind. there was a part in time i thought, i could go back to japan and go there and see how it looked. i had in the book and in my
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heart what i thought it was, i almost knew that if i had gone back it wouldn't be the same. so i made the conscious choice of not going. now that you tell me this i'm thankful i didn't i think it would have destroyed what i created in my head. i thought places are best when they are imagined. i hesitated naming it after a place where my mom said what did exist. i'm glad i didn't go back. making that conscious choice would have changed had i gone back would have changed the direction of the book a lot. >> when i saw it it was so different than how an imagined from reading your books. >> does that teach you never to look up things. always listen to the writer? [laughter].
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>> we have time for one more question. >> can't be our essay question. >> she didn't give us a question yet. i wanted to know what made you think of the title like the samurai's garden? >> oh , know the title story. >> i'm sorry. >> quickly. this is actually a publishing business thing. i had written on the contract because i was reading about samurais and gardens. at the time the contract. i looked and said, oh , the samurai's garden. now they would put untitled. i put dount samurai's garden not thinking that would really with the title. and what happened was when it was time to choose a title my editor had a god awful title she
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felt was the most brilliant title since the grapes of wrath. it was like this long and everything was in it but the kitchen sink. love, samurai, garden and sushi. it was a terrible title and i didn't like it and i didn't know what to say i had never disagreed. that was the first time i disagree. i said i don't want to look at my book case and see that book and cringe in 30 years. she called me from new york and said, i don't know why we are going over the title thing let's keep it the samurai's garden. then i was saying, thank you, god and it became the samurai a garden which in the end worked when you decide hathat samurai is in your class you will see how it works.
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it works in many, many ways. i'm pleased it stayed the samurai's garden. not of anybody's choice but because it was the one we didn't want to fight over anymore. >> okay. >> [laughter]. >> thank you. i >> i think you wanted something else. >> well, i met the samurai and [laughter] >> thank you. >> thank you, gale so much for coming. >> [applause]. thank you.
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[music] [applause]
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good afternoon, everybody. thank you for joining us today. the first thing i will ask you to do is put your hands together in front of our heart and bow slightly and say nanasta it means the good in me greets the good in all of you. who knows where is this is from? india. today we are sharing an form. we are members of the dance
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company based here in san francisco and we are taught by somebody who has been doing this art form for over 50 years much the ladies including myself we have been studying with him for a long time. you will see different things. lots of sounds with our feet. a little bit of story telling through mime and expression and you will learn about math in dance. who would have thought. today we will start, our next piece means the coloring of the stage. dancers show the hindu aspect of the dance by using the positions of our hands we will show you we are decorating the stage and make a water picture and cleaning the stage with the water. plucking flowers and decorating the stage with the petals of the
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flowers. we will awaken the 5 senses through the blowing of a conch shell. we will demonstrate the 3 duty, creator, producer and the destroyer in order to make way for new creation. [music]
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[applause] good morning. afternoon, actually. so, as you can see this is an elaborate dance form and has many hand movements which have a specific meaning. in the piece we are about to show you and share with you we will actually pi lly teach you d movements. this means to tell a story. in old times they would travel and tell the stores about the events of the timeses. i need you all to stand up to
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learn these. excellent. take a stretch. lift our arms up high to the sky. we will start by creating trees. we will turn our arms into tree branches. our finger tips into leaves and we will sway in the breeze. when the wind picks up we will sway faster. we will make birds by taking our hands facing etch other, cross our thumbs and using our hands like bird wings. the birds are flying high above the treetops. in the forest is a river. we will lift our wrists and lower them to make water waves. very soft. you can hear the water flowing. in this river are fish. we will take the right hand over
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our left and use our thumbs like fish fins and let your fish swim through the water it takes a big dive. >> and growing next to the river are a bed of flowers. opening one hand onfinger at a time watching the flower petal blossoms. we will take our other hand and turn it into a butterifiy much the butter fly will fly, fly, fly the and land on the flour and watch it fly away. drinking can a deer. take your thumb and the outside a n antlers. the deer hears a noise and in the distance is a hunter with a
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low and arrow. he sees that deer and aims for it. see your target and takes a shot and he misses and the deer escapes. the hunter's frustrated. i can't believe i missed that. he decides that hunting deer is not a night idea next time he will aim for an apple. thank you participating, you can sit down. give yourself a clap. those are very basic hand movements we use to tell a story. so, the next story we will show you is going to take place in this forest that we just created. i want you to imagine you are in the old forest and we will explain to you the story. >> that was namaste.
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the devine in me greets the devine in you. can you say that? very good. so, as joe anna was saying. this come from the word meaning to tell stores. this is a story teller. you guys i heard out there i was listening a birdie told me you thought you were going to see a movie; right ? >> you are. in the old days this comes from what country? india. thousands of years ago and hundreds of years ago in india there were no movie theatres, no television, no radio, no comic books or no books for people like you and me to read. was this the same here? >> yes. all offer the world it was like
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that. ask your parents. they can tell you what it was like before the internet. so, people told stores. i bet you tell stories. did you tell a story today? >> yeah, i bet you did you went up to our friend and said, did you see that? your friend said, no, no he didn't. right? that's a story. so, i will tell you a story. in india, here we have super heroes like, tell me a hero. >> super man. we have super heroes in india. krishna. lifts mountains and throws them to the ocean to create bridges. i will tell you the story about
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a super hero. krishna as a little boy in the village where the trees blow and the water flows and the birds fly and the grass grows, in this village there are cows. and people and they go to the river and they go to get their water. and they go to the river and what do they see? an evil demon is polluting the river. callia. and they can't get water because it's killing the cows and the people. so, they go to krishna and say, please, do something about this this is not good. he says, he thinks about it and says, okay. he takes his friends to the river to play. they play
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